Daily Archives: January 28, 2019

Oh, what could have been.

From Bill Connelly’s piece about Oklahoma State’s new offensive coordinator:

Averaging nearly 90 plays and 44 points per game, the 2013 Tigers used modern-day tempo and made themselves almost un-scoutable. Three quarterbacks — Quinn Epperly, Connor Michelsen, and Kedric Boston — not only took snaps as first-stringers, but stayed on the field at other positions, too. […]

“There’s no law against it,” Surace says, matter-of-factly. “There’s no law against a team like Alabama, with two good quarterbacks, having them in on the same play occasionally. If we do it, it’s because we think we can run efficient plays.” […]

“Our guys can really process the information,” Surace says. “You can talk to them at a high level football-wise. They’re not NFL players, and we don’t have unlimited time with them, but within that small work week, we can give them a lot of information.”

The benefits of having a few different guys who can throw the ball can pay off in obvious ways, especially near the goal line.

Could you imagine running that with Fromm and Fields last season down on the goal line?  Let’s see Todd Grantham defend that.

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39 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Trailing returns

This is an interesting juxtaposition.

Kirby’s recent recruiting classes have been studly, something we’ll get the full flavor of with another couple of draft years.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

“I look at this as an exploration.”

The Pac-12 is moving to the next stage in its hunt for an equity partner.

The Pac-12 announced Monday that it has hired The Raine Group, an investment bank with experience in sports media, to advise the conference on its media rights strategy.

Basically, Raine is charged with playing the role of matchmaker, helping the Pac-12 identify a long-term strategic partner. That partner, in turn, would provide immediate cash to the schools and help the conference position itself for upcoming media rights deals.

The Pac-12’s current contracts with ESPN, Fox and the Pac-12 Networks’ distributors (Comcast, Cox, etc) all expire in the summer of 2024, meaning negotiations for the next round of deals could begin as early as the fall of ’22.

News of a potential investor was made public last month in a report by the Oregonian, which indicated the Pac-12 was looking for an equity infusion:

In exchange for $500 million, the investor would receive 10 percent ownership in a newly-created holding company (dubbed ‘Pac12 NewCo’) that would manage all the conference’s media rights. The schools would retain the remaining 90 percent.

You’ll never guess the justification for the move.  Okay, you will.

In a news release issued early Monday announcing The Raine Group’s advisory role, DiStefano mentioned the need “to provide maximum support for our University athletic departments and our student-athletes.”  [Emphasis added.]

See?  They’re doing it for the kids.  If Larry’s heart is pure, what could go wrong?

9 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

Today, in the Wayback Machine

Bill Connelly has rebooted the S&P+ rankings for the 2006 season.  Found this part at the end of interest:

In 2006, Virginia Tech pitched four shutouts and allowed seven or fewer points three other times. Miami and North Carolina each scored 10 points on the Hokies; it was tied for the fifth-most Tech allowed in a game. Boston College scored 22 points but gained only 264 yards in the process. Georgia scored 31 but gained only 200.

Virginia Tech’s Def. S&P+ rating of 4.6 adjusted points per game is the lowest of what you might call the S&P+ era (2005-18). Only three other teams have been at even 6.5 or lower (Alabama in 2009, Alabama in 2011, Alabama in 2017). This unit erased you.

Georgia came back from an 18-point deficit midway through the third quarter in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  Some of that was fueled by the defense, but the offense did find its footing on the way to scoring 28 points from that point on… against, as Bill notes, a more than stout defense.

I still love Uncle Ron’s line after the Charles Johnson sack that led to a turnover:  “He could have held.”

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“The best players are going to be on the field, not on the sideline.”

If you’re uneasy about the rapid pace of player transfer expansion, I understand, but, in the bigger picture, isn’t this better for college football?

On Wednesday, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts announced his transfer to Oklahoma. As a graduate student, he will be immediately eligible, and he will likely be the third consecutive transfer to win the starting quarterback job for the Sooners. Hurts will also try to become the third straight quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma.

But Hurts isn’t alone. As he touches down in Norman, Oklahoma, former OU QB Austin Kendall is taking off for Morgantown, West Virginia, where he expects to find WVU’s starting quarterback job waiting. Elsewhere, Ohio State will be breaking in its newest enrollee, former five-star Georgia backup Justin Fields. He got to Columbus, Ohio, just in time to see the Buckeyes’ 2018 backup, Tate Martell, depart for Miami. Both are seeking waivers to become immediately eligible.

The flood isn’t just feeding an elite few. All over college football, talented arms are washing up on shore.

When true freshman Trevor Lawrence won the starting job at Clemson, he sent Kelly Bryant and Hunter Johnson to likely starting roles at Missouri and Northwestern, respectively, where they will replace likely NFL Draft picks. Before Jake Fromm sent Fields packing for Ohio State, he sent another former Georgia five-star QB, Jacob Eason, to Washington. Both could be starters on College Football Playoff-caliber teams. Brandon Wimbush left Notre Dame to take over at UCF. Alex Delton has moved from TCU from Kansas State.

Quarterbacks who just a few short years ago would have been sitting on the bench as backups — talented players, mind you — are getting their chance to hit the field at new programs.  Obviously, if you’re a fan of one of the receiving programs, this is an unequivocally good development, but from an overall perspective, how is it not a good thing for college football for more talented kids to play?

Similarly, there are 135 kids leaving early for the NFL draft.  Now, those slated for the first round and those who’ve hit the academic skids would go no matter what, but if there were adequate compensation for college players, how many of those 135 might stay for another year in college?  How would that not be a good thing for those who watch college football?

Sure, it’s always going to be the case that we’ll root for a school, but college football is a more competitive and better follow with the most talent and experience it can deploy.

103 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

The indispensable man

Word comes that Nick Saban’s making a change at another coaching position:

Alabama could have at least seven new assistant football coaches for the 2019 season, topping the six new faces on Nick Saban’s staff from a year ago.

The latest change is occurring on defense, as multiple media outlets have reported Mississippi State defensive line coach Brian Baker is expected to leave for the same role with the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s defensive line coach this past season, Craig Kuligowski, apparently will no longer be a member of Saban’s full-time staff.

The amazing part to me isn’t so much the wholesale staff turnover as it is that Saban has yet to make any official announcement on the new hires.  Who in the hell is recruiting for the Tide right now?  (Besides Saban, I mean.)

18 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Drive by bloviating

If ignorance is bliss…

… Reverend Al is one happy man. (h/t)

77 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Transfers Are For Coaches.